Greens announce LGBTIQ support package if divisive plebiscite goes ahead

Hear more from the Greens in the Canberra TimesGay News Network, and Pro Bono Australia coverage of this story.

The ACT Greens have today launched a landmark plan to support LBGTIQ Canberrans should the Federal Liberal Government go ahead with their costly and divisive same sex marriage plebiscite. The Greens do not support the plebiscite because we believe it will lead to further victimization and isolation of the LGBTIQ community.

"This debate has dragged on long enough," said ACT Greens spokeswoman Veronica Wensing.

"The government has been urged by LBGTIQ groups around the country to abandon this plebiscite - but it seems the Liberals won't be satisfied until people are dragged through the mud by the harmful hate campaigns it would drum up.

"My partner and I were married for three days under Canberra's equal marriage laws. I know as well as anyone how important equality and recognition is - but there is no reason for it to come at the expense of our community's wellbeing. 

"We already know that LBGTIQ young people disproportionately suffer from mental illness, and at are at higher risk of suicide and self-harm. We should not subject them to a hateful 'No' campaign.

"Should Malcolm Turnbull decide to proceed with the plebiscite, the Greens will stand with the LGBTIQ community against the damaging "no" campaign by:

- Supporting a public "yes" campaign
- Dedicating $500,000 additional funding to LGBTIQ support services
- Establishing a new ACT Commissioner for LGBTIQ people

"But it's not too late for the Liberals to dump this pointless, costly and harmful plebiscite. No more excuses and delays - we need equal rights to be dealt with by the parliament now," said Ms Wensing.

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